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A generous donation and a pinch of salt -- or, “There’s No Trouble with Harry (Saltzgaver)”

Harry Saltzgaver, major domo of the Long Beach Gazette Newspapers, does double duty for us at least once a year when he not only renews his KPCC membership, but writes about it in his column, “Pinch of Salt.”

This time, in publicizing a rival media outlet’s fundraiser(!), he even mentions our new “sustaining member” feature. And Harry being Harry, he doesn’t sugarcoat it.

“To give them credit, KPCC has come up with a new twist to membership and fund drives. That would be something called a sustaining member. You sign up for it once, and it automatically takes a set amount out of your checking account or charges the amount to a credit card every month. It sustains the station with a constant infusion of cash and allows the member to never think of it again. There’s only a couple of things wrong with that approach, at least for me. First, I’d forever be trying to figure out why my checkbook was $10 out of balance. Second, I’d still be subject to the fund drive bombardment, at least assuming the station still needed to raise money. … Now can I have my regular KPCC back, Mr. Rabe, sir? Please?”

Dear Mr. Saltzgaver,

First, the $10 deduction will be clearly marked in your bank statement.

Second, I’ve just mailed you a stack of Off-Ramp CD’s you can pop in the player this week when we’re “sounding like carnival barkers attempting to wheedle, cajole and shame listeners into dropping a dime for the public radio station.” You forgot “admonish,” “guilt trip,” and “beguile.”

And third … thanks a million, Harry. Members like you keep us going.

(Photo: Harry receiving the "Outstanding Commissioner" award from the California Association of Park and Recreation Commissioners and Board Members.)

(Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.)